Volunteers throughout North Central Iowa were honored for their years of service to their communities during RSVP’s annual Volunteer Celebration on June 6, with the theme of NIACC’s 100th Anniversary.
RSVP of North Central Iowa staff presented 28 Outstanding Volunteer Awards to individuals who volunteer in the six counties RSVP serves: Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago and Worth.
The volunteers honored serve in a variety of programs, such as: Reading Buddies and Reading Coaches, helping elementary and middle school students improve their reading skills; Pen Pals, writing letters to fourth- and fifth-graders; Breakfast Buddies, visiting with students at school-sponsored breakfast; International Friends, making NIACC’s international students feel at home in Iowa; Disaster Volunteers, receiving training for a Volunteer Reception Center; helping with registrations at American Red Cross blood drives; and reading to the blind on KCMR radio.
Terry Schumaker, Dean of Continuing Education at NIACC, welcomed more than 120 volunteers and their guests to the afternoon event, and thanked the volunteers for their dedication and service in their communities.
“I want to begin by thanking the 373 volunteers who have committed 7,422 hours of time this year to support our communities,” stated guest speaker, Dr. Steve Schulz, President of NIACC. “The work you are doing is critical to the future success of individuals and the communities in which you serve. I know you volunteer because you want to make a difference. So thank you.”
RSVP Director Molly Anderegg and Volunteer Coordinator Theresa Price presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, which are based on cumulative hours served by a volunteer over a lifetime. Three levels of awards were given: Bronze (100 to 249 hours), Silver (250 to 499 hours) and Gold (500+ hours).
Gold award (500+ hours)
Sandy McCauley of Mason City is a volunteer with a heart of gold. She has a passion for helping children and is always willing to serve when needed. Sandy has been with RSVP since 2012 volunteering as a Pen Pal and Reading Buddy.
Other RSVP volunteers recognized for reaching a lifetime award level include:
Silver (250-499 hours)
Forest City: Joan Hansen
Garner: Sue Bruxvoort, Eunice Kinsella and Linda Ringham
Lake Mills: LaVonne Hartman
Mason City: Steph O’Donnell
Thompson: Charissa Olson
Bronze (100-249 hours)
Buffalo Center: Lynn Hassebroek
Clear Lake: Sharon Knoup and Fran Lorenzen
Elma: Roger Schroeder
Forest City: Paul Fitzgerald, Ken Hansen, Cynthia Korth, Joan Langerud, Barb Lovick, Larry Reiffer, and Mary Schaefer
Garner: Sue Nedved
Hampton: Pat Cross
Klemme: Debbie Stromer
Mason City: Sharon Heimbuch, Jack Mueller, Susan Saltou, Bob VerBrugge, and Judy VerBrugge
Rockwell: Mary Ellen Haugen
RSVP Director Molly Anderegg reviewed the impact RSVP volunteers had on their communities in the past year and told all volunteers, “Volunteering is the perfect way to give back to your community and to stay active. RSVP provides rewarding opportunities to help people who are in need. I thank you for volunteering in your communities.”
Anderegg also recognized retiring Advisory Council members Sue Bruxvoort of Garner, Sharon Steckman of Mason City, and Joe Angstman of Buffalo Center.
A NIACC alum and employee, singer/songwriter Joan Estlund, provided entertainment for the event. Joan has been writing and performing her own music for over 15 years, and in 2016 her song Creeping Eyes was selected for the Iowa music project. She currently performs with a three-piece band under the moniker Juni West and is working on her first full-length album.
For information on RSVP of North Central Iowa, visit www.niacc.edu/community-and-continuing-education/continuing-education/rsvp or contact 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4256, (641) 422-4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP of North Central Iowa serves the counties of Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago and Worth responding to priority community needs by providing meaningful, purposeful volunteer opportunities for people ages 55 and over. RSVP is sponsored by North Iowa Area Community College and is partly funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, State of Iowa, United Way of North Central Iowa and local county governments.
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